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6.2E: Arcs and Sparks

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  • Arc and spark devices can be used as atomization sources for solid samples. Figure \(\PageIndex{8}\) illustrates the setup for an arc device. A high voltage applied across a gap between two conducting electrodes causes an arc or spark to form. As the electrical arc or spark strikes the positively charged electrode, it can create a “puff” of gas phase atoms and emission from the atoms can be measured. The arc also creates a plasma between the two electrodes. Depending on the nature of the solid material to be measured, it can either be molded into an electrode or coated onto a carbon electrode.


    Figure \(\PageIndex{8}\). Illustration of an arc atomization source with a plasma (shown in blue). From:

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